Fantasy Fate, Part 4: Equipment, Magic, and Travel

Game Ready Content Armor Fantasy Fantasy Fate FATE

Dice SwordSo far, we’ve provided ideas for standard humans, and several ideas for racial templates. In this post, we’re going to fill in some of the miscellaneous blanks in using Fate 3.0 (as implemented in Dresden Files RPG) for a medieval fantasy game.


A large part of any fantasy RPG is the equipment.  Specifically, the weapons and armor a PC wields says a lot about the personality and intent of that character.  These particular possessions might mean life and death for the potentially violent lives these people lead.  Due to that emphasis, we’re going to expand a bit upon the more vague descriptions used in standard Fate.


Category Examples Rating
Small, One Handed Daggers, knives, saps 1
Large, One Handed Clubs, rapiers, hand axes, broadswords, light crossbows, short bows, spears 2
 Two Handed Longspears, polearms, Great swords, battle axes, warhammers, longbows, heavy crossbows 3


Weapons have a special place in fantasy stories.  Characters often have unique signature armaments that are as much a part of them as their names.  To try to achieve this, we thought up the idea of Weapon Qualities. Weapon Qualities are something like Mortal Stunts, but only usable with that particular weapon.  You start by picking a base weapon above.  Next, you may add Qualities until the initial Rating + number of Qualities is no more than four.  Any Quality slots left open for weapons may only be filled through a change justified in-game, perhaps a reforging, or magic process.  Ranged weapons may leave slots open, which may be applied ad hoc to ammunition. The GM is encouraged to exercise control over the outcome of this process.  For example, Subtle great swords are probably not believable, unless the player has a really good explanation.  Players are encouraged to really make the weapon a part of their character.

Quality Effect
Armor Piercing Ignores up to 2 points of armor (to a minimum of 0), but suffers -1 to Weapon Rating
Fast Provides a +2 bonus to Alertness for initiative purposes (if applied to ammunition, player must specify at the beginning of the round)
Heavy +1 to Weapon Rating. Weapons receive a -1 penalty to Alertness for initiative purposes, but ammunition reaches one zone shorter
Quick Draw May be drawn without the usual -1 penalty for a supplemental action
Reach Reaches one zone farther, but acts at -1 Weapon Rating in the same zone as the attacker
Subtle +2 to Deceit to hide the weapon
Tripping Use Weapons to perform a Trip maneuver at +1
  • Longbow (WR 3), bodkin arrows (Armor Piercing), and broadheads (Heavy)
  • Polearm (WR 3) with Reach
  • Dagger (WR 1) with Fast, Quick Draw, and Subtle
  • Flail (WR 2, Final WR 1) with Tripping, and Armor Piercing (spikes)
  • Heavy Battle Axe (WR 3, Final WR 4)


Shields are essentially a specialized weapon (WR 1). They provide two additional benefits, however.  First, they give a bonus to Weapons rolls when used to defend against an attack.  Second, they allow the user to use Weapons to defend against ranged attacks, though at a penalty.

Type Defense Bonus Effect
Small +1 Defend vs ranged at -2
Large +2 Defend vs ranged at -1. May be tagged as an aspect by opponents for contests in Endurance, Athletics
Tower +3 Defend vs ranged. May be tagged as an aspect by opponents for contests in Endurance, Athletics. Move one less zone


Almost as important to a fantasy character as her weapon, is her armor.  However, the uniqueness with armor seems to mostly come in appearance.  Therefore, while we do provide Armor Qualities, they’re not configurable like those for Weapons. Players of the Dresden Files RPG may notice that our Armor isn’t necessarily compatible with that game.  That’s because we’ve focused down into medieval weapons.  The introduction of guns essentially compresses this table.  You might resolve this by considering guns to be Armor Piercing, without the usual -1 to Weapon Rating.

Type(s) Rating Resources Qualities
 Padded, bone  1  0
 Leather, lacquer  2  2 Restrictive
 Chain, scale, banded  3  3 Heavy, Restrictive
 Plate  4  4 Heavy, Restrictive, Slow

Armor Qualities

Quality Effect
Heavy May be invoked by opponents in checks for Athletics, Endurance
Restrictive May be invoked by opponents in checks for Stealth
Slow Move one less zone


Type Resources Speed
 Carriage  2  3 mph
 Cart  0  2 mph
 Donkey  0  3 mph
 Horse, Light  1  6 mph
 Horse, Heavy  3  5 mph
 Wagon  1  2 mph
Warhorse, Light  3  6 mph
Warhorse, Heavy  4  5 mph



For the Fantasy Fate magic system, we’re pretty much going to steal borrow the one from the Dresden Files RPG (YS-247), because it’s probably the best magic system I’ve ever used.  It’s powerful, relatively simple, and extremely flexible.  Rather than picking a spell from a list, you essentially use its rules to build the effect you want. If you’re looking to play a pyromancer, or other specialist, see the Focused Practitioner template (YS-76).  For a full Wizard, see the eponymous template (YS-86), though we’ll make the Sight, Soulgaze, and Wizard’s Constitution optional, since they’re setting dependent.  If you want to create another combination of the spellcasting Powers, go ahead. Note that there are no restrictions on races, wearing armor, or wielding weapons while casting.  Nor do we specify the source of these powers.  The same rules can be used to create arcane Wizards, divine Clerics, and nature-based Druids.  Simply flavor them differently.


Fantasy literature is often as much about the journey as the swords and sorcery.  How long will it take to get the dangerous piece of jewelry to that special volcano?  Though you could certainly plug in the numbers yourself, given the above speeds, here we’ll put it into Fate terms. The following is how many miles characters could travel by the indicated conveyance and Fate time period.  This assumes an eight hour travel day, and relatively easy terrain.  In difficult terrain, cut the number by half.  For imprecise time periods (a few weeks) I considered it to be half the next largest time period (two weeks).

Duration Walking Cart / Wagon Donkey Light Horse Heavy Horse
an hour  3  2  3  6  5
a few hours  6  4  6  12  10
an afternoon  12  8  12  24  20
a day  24  16  24  48  40
a week  168 112 168 336 280
a few weeks  336 224 336 672 560
a month  672 448 672 1344 1120
a few months  1344 896 1344 2688 2240
a season  2016 1344 2016 4032 3360
half a year  4032 2688 4032 8064 6720
a year  8064 5376 8064 16128 13440